A Ministry of Health official warned on Wednesday of a health disaster that may emerge if hospital hygiene services providers stage full strikes in Gaza. Hospital cleaners walked out in a partial two-day strike on Monday in protest to not having been paid salaries by the reconciliation government for five months.
Workers threatened that strike action would continue and a full walkout ensue if they are not paid. The Health Ministry's Director General of Administrative Affairs, Ahmed Ali, said that hygiene services will be seriously affected should the strike takes place.
“If such companies stopped working, diseases in health facilities and hospitals would spread, mainly in surgical operations and intensive care rooms,” he added. “We cannot allow this to happen, if it does, the patients and medical staff will be at risk of many diseases.”
Ali pointed out that the Ministry of Health in Ramallah has not compensated these companies for its operating expenses of a monthly NIS 750,000 since it assumed role in early June 2014.
He called for the health sector not to be a point of political disagreement as it directly affects the lives of 1.8 million residents of Gaza.
Hospital workers' salaries were increased some months ago to 700 shekels ($194) per month.